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Key three: Origin recall beckons for key Titans forward

The 33rd instalment of the Macca’s Local Derby between the Titans and Broncos didn’t disappoint, with high-octane football on show for 80 minutes at Cbus Super Stadium. 

The scoreline blew out late, but was not a true reflection of the effort and first half dominance of the Gold Coast side.

The Broncos remain ladder leaders but the Titans will take plenty from the game as they went toe to toe with the premiership heavyweights.

Here are the key three from tonight's Macca's Local Derby:

Second half lapse allows Broncos to pounce

Leading 14-10 at the break, a scintillating second half by the Broncos allowed them to gain the ascendency, running in five tries to one in the second stanza to ice the match and secure top spot on the ladder.

The Titans had a strong first half but a lack of possession and key errors and penalties cost the Gold Coast side in the early parts of the second half.

Compounded by the sin binning of captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, the Titans couldn't hold a Broncos side while down one man.

Although the score blew out, the Titans would be ruing three tries conceded on the back of charge downs or kick interceptions particularly that halted momentum.  

Maroons recall to beckon for Fotuaika?

It’s a great question to pose after the 23-year-old continued his outstanding form of 2023 with another night out at home against the Broncos.

The 106-game powerful prop helped lead the forward pack charge against their rivals from up the road, amassing 158 metres, with 63 of them post-contact.

Averaging 135 metres, the Queensland and Tongan representative had already surpassed that by the break with 11 runs for 135 metres – 43 of those post-contact.

Fotuaika also had made an important 17 tackles in the first 40, finishing his night with 33 efforts, showing the shift in possession. 

A standout in a losing side, no doubt the four-game Origin star's start to the season has given Maroons coach Billy Slater plenty to consider with the series opener only just over a month away.

Cbus breaks five-year drought

Selling-out pre-game, a whopping 26,563 fans packed the stands at Cbus Super Stadium to watch the first instalment of the M1 rivalry - the highest crowd number for the derby since 2010.

The clash was also the first time the stadium was at full capacity since Round 25, 2018, when the Titans faced off against North Queensland in Johnathan Thurston's final game as a Cowboy.

Captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui made mention of the big crowd in the post-match press conference, acknowledging the groundswell of support and energy of the Gold Coast community on hand. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.